Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.
Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during theWar of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.
As with most colonial relics, they are aggressive, immoral paeans to bigotry, hatred, fear, and murder. I have little use for the concept of patriotism, and even less for mindless jingoism, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would stand to honour this utter shit, this disregard for any life which was not that of the conquering white man. I might be able to spare some spit.
The Intercept has the full, very interesting story of this blood-soaked anthem to murder and slavery.